Skip to main content

Full text of "Hiss Alger"

See other formats


; Hiss sues government 

* NEW YORK (AP) — Alger Hiss sued The chief witness against Hiss was 


the federal government Thursday to 
force disclosure of still secret evidence 
}ie said may vindicate his claim he was 
telling the truth when he said he never 
spied for the Soviet Union. 

Among other items, he wants copies of 
the famous “pumpkin papers,” only a 
small part of which were made public at 
Hiss’ spectacular trial 25 years ago. 

; He told a packed news conference that 
one of the Watergate tapes of a 
conversation between then President 
Richard M. Nixon and John Dean backs 
up his claim that a typewriter the 
government charged he used to produce 
incriminating documents was actually 
an FBI plant. 

; Hiss said there was a possibility that 
Nixon might be subpoenaed but that 
decision must await the government’s 
reply to the suit. 

i Hiss said he waited until now to sue 
because “until the Freedom of 
Information Act was passed, I was 
doubtful if I had any standing.” 

The former high State Department 
official and president of the Carnegie 
.Endowment for International Peace 
repeated his charge, “I was railroaded.” 

He was joined in his suit here by writer 
William A. Rueben who said the case 
against His? “was a total fraud from top 
to bottom. It was tainted with fraud or 
forgery.” 

Stephen W. Salant, who wrote a 1963 
high school term paper on Hiss, entered 
a similar suit in Washington as did Dr. 
Peter H. Irons, a political science in- 
structor at the University of 
Massachusetts, in Boston. 

Irons said he had evidence the 
typewriter introduced at the trial was 
not the one used to write the documents 
and also charged that the microfilm 
found in the pumpkin papers was not 
Manufactured in 1938 when Hiss 
■iallegedly used it. 


Whittaker Chambers, a former editor of 
Time magazine and a self-confessed 
Soviet agent. Chambers claimed Hiss 
had given him secret government 
papers. 

“Largely because a young 
congressman named Nixon said he 
believed Chambers, I was convicted of 
perjury and went to jail for 44 months,” 
Hiss said. 

Hiss said that two of the five rolls of 
microfilm allegedly found in the 
pumpkin at Chambers’ Westminster, 
Md., farm Dec. 2, 1948, were introduced 
in court, but he has never seen the other 
three. 

Asked about this multiplicity of suits, 
Hiss said, “I am reopening in every way 
that’s feasible. I am seeking evidence to 
reopen my case which I am sure will 
result in my vindication.” 

. Nixon, as a young congressman, 
headed the House subcommittee which 
investigated the Hiss case. He has since 
credited the public acclaim he received 
as the major factor in his subsequent 
political rise. 

A key exhibit in the case was a 
Woodstock typewriter on which the 
government claimed certain 
incriminating documents had been 
typed. 

Hiss himself introducted the 
typewriter as an exhibit believing it 
would vindicate him. 

He charged at his news conference, as 
h-e claimed at the trial, that the 
typewriter had been doctored and 
planted by the FBI to trap him. 

“The assumption is we found a fake 
typewriter and we have concluded the 
FBI faked it, ” he said. 

Hiss noted that Nixon, in the first 
edition of his book “My Six Crises,” 
claimed the FBI found the typewriter, 
but changed it to say Hiss did in 
subsequent editionsi